Every administrative professional has been faced with the same dilemma, “How do I find a hotel that keep my manager comfortable, without breaking the bank?” Booking hotels is a very difficult balancing act: on the one hand, you have to adhere to a strict budget, on the other your hand you have to find a hotel that has all the basic amenities and enough comfort that your manager will be well rested and productive in. And as we all know, comfort comes at a cost. However, there are ways to score hotel rooms on a budget. Here are our top 17 tips to impress your manager and maximize your given budget and make sure your executive travels in style and comfort.
Hotel Booking Timing Strategies
- Book 30 Days Ahead: Start your research early. Time is your friend and if you book more than 30 days in advance, you are almost guaranteed lower rates.
- Use the day to your advantage: If your manager is going to be traveling during the week, book in a luxury/vacation hotel. If your manager is going to be traveling over the weekend, book in a business hotel. Luxury and business hotels alternate when they’re going to be busy. Weekends will show higher prices in luxury hotels, but lower in business, and vice versa.
- Cancellation Period Booking: If you are unable to book at least 30 days in advance, and you don’t mind waiting until the last minute, booking a hotel 24 to 48 hours in advance will help you get a better deal. Hotels are constantly dealing with last minute cancellations, and are happy when they are able to fill that room.
- Late Check-Ins: Hotels have a better understanding of their room availability later in the day so they’re more likely to offer upgrades.
Types of Hotels and Rooms
- Corner Rooms: Corner rooms give you more space for the same price allowing you to maximize your budget.
- New Hotel: New hotels are looking to drum up business by offering lower rates and free upgrades.
- Apart-Hotel: Apartment-hotels are service apartments that come with a small kitchen usually found in Europe. These typically cost more upfront. However, if your boss is going to be spending an extended amount of time abroad, this will help them feel a little more at home in a foreign area. Furthermore, apart-hotels come with amenities (such as a kitchen) that can help save in the long run.
- Short Term Home Rentals: Similar to apart-hotels, rental vacation homes are a great opportunity to give your manager a “homier” feel when they are traveling. Furthermore, homeowners who are renting out their homes through AirBnB, VRBO or HomeAway are normally open to negotiation and would prefer to rent their home out to a business traveler, over leisure travelers, because business travelers are typically neater.
Different Hotel Booking Sites
- Sign up for Price Drops Alerts – This is best when you do not have time to keep a close eye on prices. Websites like Hotel.com and Kayak will take care of the work for you without flooding your inbox.
- Secret Hotel Rooms – Secret hotel rooms are hotels rooms that are being sold at reduced rates. Use LastMinute.com or Hotwire to find the best secret hotel deals that can save you anywhere from 20%-50% off the original listed price.
- Roomer Travel: RoomerTravel.com allows you to purchase other travelers’ unused hotel room reservations at a low rate.
- Ask for a Price Match between Competitors – Many hotels will match a competitor’s lower price if you ask.
Using and Developing Hotel Relationships
- Call the Hotel Directly: If your manager is going to be traveling to the same location over and over again, it’s worth it to start developing a working relationship with the front desk employees. Not only will you be able to better prepare them for your manager’s unique needs, they will also look out for your manager and keep a special eye on them. Furthermore, hotel employees are in a better position to offer you an upgrade, if possible.
- Follow up for Problems: Get feedback from your manager to see how their experience was. If there were small issues, bring them up with the staff next time you speak to them. This way they can improve upon your manager’s experience. They also appreciate the feedback and can reciprocate the favor with upgrades, a credit to your account, of food and drink vouchers.
- Use Rating Websites: If your manager travels frequently, encourage them to start using rating apps like TripAdvisor or Yelp. As they leave more reviews, their status will increase and they will start seeing free perks coming their way. Furthermore, hotels will want to receive favorable reviews so they will do their best to take extra care of your manager.
Hotel Loyalty Programs
- Join Loyalty Programs: If your manager hasn’t signed up for a loyalty program, do it for them! Benefits of these programs include best-rate guarantee for guests, free Wi-Fi, upgrades, free nights, and access to exclusive events and experiences with bookings.
- Referring Friends and Colleagues: Referrals are a great, and easy, way to rack up extra points and get discounts. For example, Marriott gives guests 2,000 bonus points for the first 5 stays your referral makes. However, make sure to use these referrals wisely and only recommend hotels that your manager enjoyed and reviewed positively during your check-in.
TRAVO‘s admin trip planner is another great tool to help you find the best hotel within your budget as well as compare available amenities. Create your trip now!
Do you have any hotel booking hacks to share? Feel free to comment below.